University Web Developers

University Web Developers

CMS training materials -- are printed manuals worth it?

I've seen a few examples of printed, bound training books -- some with tabs.  In the long-term I'd love to grow our training materials into something that's a combination of how-to, style guidelines, and related policies.  I think then it would be worth the effort.

It'll be a while before I have all the content together, so for now I'm curious -- is a training book that is printed and bound effective?

I'm investing quite a bit of time developing "Help" pages for each site -- a page with links to guides, related blog posts, and videos, plus anything specific to their site.  But I'm wondering if folks just like that paper stuff they can hold in their hand.  I want people to be comfortable.

Views: 111

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

My (totally anecdotal) perception is that printed manuals are not particularly useful to most users these days. When you factor in maintenance and updating of the manual, they are really not worth the effort. Contextual online help, along with a FAQ, screencasts, and some key procedures posted online seem to work for almost all users.

The exception I run into in CMS and LMS training is that some users like to write down procedures as they learn them. For these users, a short printed manual with room for handwritten notes allows them to work in a comfortable and familiar way.

These users are almost always also the ones that want to learn just enough to get by in the new system – rather than diving deep into advanced features – so the basics of logging in, editing content, and creating and publishing pages are usually the topics that can use this kind of workbook treatment. The advanced stuff can be omitted, to keep it short and simple and relatively easy to update as the UI changes.

I like the idea of giving them something they can take notes with.  I am not a fan of printing things that go obsolete quickly.  Our old docs held up for 3 years, and I'm crafting the replacements to hold as long as possible -- to cover beginner basics, then anything that more advanced is a blog post I can send them a link to (when it pertains to their site.)

If I had the time I would love to create a "Help" page in each site, with dynamic hooks to topics on the CMS Users blog I update.  So, if their site has our News script in it, I could feed in recent posts with tips and tricks for that.  I'm experimenting with a few Google docs to get started -- they can edit the doc so if anything doesn't make sense they can change it.  But I expect 99%+ of users wouldn't edit what I provide.

Your blog and feed approach to CMS training and support sounds like it will be very efficient... We are going to be rolling out a new WordPress multisite network, and that is definitely something I'll adopt as well. Thanks for the tip!

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Wondering how to create your own CMS gadget? Check out today's blog post! "
20 hours ago
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Another new customer! We welcome Clark College to the OmniUpdate family and OU Campus CMS user community!"
yesterday
Profile IconAndy Long, Melba Acevedo and George Fullerton joined University Web Developers
Tuesday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We warmly welcome Dillard University to the OmniUpdate family! We're excited to have them aboard the OU Campus CMS user train!"
Monday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We welcome Reynolds Community College to the OU Campus CMS user community! We're excited to have them in the OmniUpdate family!"
Apr 11
Brian Richardson is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 10
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"New post up on the blog! Tips from Higher Education Marketing's CEO Philippe Taza on Tackling Higher Ed Digital Marketing Challenges. Give it a read and comment on your top challenges!"
Apr 9
John Jackson commented on Debbie's blog post New ICANN TLDs
"We've identified the domains we want to follow, such as .education (released at the end of March), .college, .university, and .sucks (I'm serious on the last one). The last three listed are still in the evaluation phase.  Just today…"
Apr 9
Brett Sizemore posted a discussion

Interactive Designer

APPLY AT: https://jobs.pepperdine.eduThe Interactive Designer supports Pepperdine's integrated marketing communications efforts aimed at strengthening the brand, elevating national reputation, improving recruitment, and building engagement through creative design across media including web, mobile, broadcast, print, and events.DUTIES: Directly support the creative communications needs of the University through the development and execution of integrated…See More
Apr 8
Brett Sizemore is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 8
Heather Godwin joined Rik Williams's group
Thumbnail

Maps and Mapping

For the discussion of the Mapping of University campuses and facilities from static images to groovy Google mashups.
Apr 7
Profile IconMatt Dana and Heather Godwin joined University Web Developers
Apr 7
Matt Lauer is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 3
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We've got another new customer! We warmly welcome Morehouse School of Medicine to the OmniUpdate family and OU Campus CMS user community!"
Apr 3
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out this great video from our friends at University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service promoting their new uaex.edu website!"
Apr 3
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn about our 2014 OmniUpdate Customer of the Year in today's blog post! "
Apr 2
John Eastvold joined David Wissore's group
Apr 2
John Eastvold added a discussion to the group ColdFusion
Thumbnail

ColdFusion Web developer Job Just Posted

I just posted a job listing and wanted to bring it to this group's attention.  It is primarily a ColdFusion Developer position.http://cuwebd.ning.com/forum/topics/web-applications-and-systems-developer-administratorSee More
Apr 2
John Eastvold posted a discussion

Web Applications and Systems Developer/Administrator

Posting specificationsOpen to all qualified candidatesCampus LocationDuluth, MNJob TitleWeb Applications and Systems Developer/AdministratorJob GroupStaffJob SummaryThis position is responsible for effectively implementing and administrating the College’s web applications utilizing appropriate tools to assist the College in achieving its strategic initiatives.Key Results/ResponsibilitiesRequired Qualifications- Bachelor’s degree or comparable technical certification, training, and experience.-…See More
Apr 2
Marcus Taylor is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 2

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2014   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service